We first spoke to Grace back in 2018 for International Women’s Day – you can read our interview with her here.
Grace is a mother and grandmother, and a retiree. She did her degree to equip herself with the knowledge to start-up her own business and inspire her grandchildren. She has now completed her degree, and we briefly caught up with her again as she reflected on her student journey.
Why did you choose to study online with us?
I dreamt to become the first Nigerian woman ambassador to France which meant getting a university degree in French. Unfortunately, that did not happen because I did not have the resources at the time. So, I went to work after high school, then I got married and put my dreams on hold.
I later became a single parent to five children and getting a degree got more difficult as I determined to focus on my children’s education and leave mine for later. After all my children had graduated from the university with second and third degrees, I became a grandmother when they got married and started having children and needed help with their children.
So, I thought my dream of ever getting a college degree may not happen after all because of my age and time. However, I found University of Essex Online on the internet. The Admissions Adviser I spoke to was helpful, so I applied and was enrolled as a mature student.
Have you been able to apply your learning to real life?
I selected Business and Management, considering it to be of broader appeal in the workplace. I would strongly advise any I have benefitted greatly in my new knowledge. Before my programme, I did not like numbers let alone anything to do with accounting. But since I completed my course, the fear has gone and with all confidence, I am now able to handle accounting and financial decisions. I am now confident that I will be able to manage my care home business when it starts. Also, I no longer feel left out when my siblings discuss any academic topics if it has to do with my area of study.
Did you face any challenges during your studies?
My big sister’s death was devastating. I had to put my course on hold to help settle her children. I am glad I was able to continue my studies from where I left off. Also, during the programme, I was hospitalized, and I thought I was not going to be able to finish it. But I was able to work on my assignments while in the hospital as my health continued to improve.
How did you find studying 100% online?
I had two amazing Student Advisers, Rob and Aiste. I almost gave up on my studies, but Rob kept me going. He solved every problem I presented to him and would patiently listen to my questions. He solved them with keen interest and would even consult other teams on my behalf. Then Aiste took over from him. She was never tired of answering my questions promptly.
I had fantastic tutors. They were always on hand to support me even outside their office hours. I am truly grateful for all the support from the University of Essex Online team.
I completed my course just before I turned 71. It just shows age is no barrier and that you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it. With the kind of support from the University of Essex Online team, it is possible.
Has Grace inspired you? If so, download a prospectus now to find the course for you.